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Wilfrid Laurier University
Carolyn Ensley

PS275: Developmental Psychology 1 Chapter 8: Intelligence • The Psychometric Approach to cognitive development is the basis for the wide variety of intelligence tests available for assessing children’s mental abilities o The psychometric perspective is product oriented, largely concerned with outcomes and results Definitions of Intelligence • Intelligence is made up of three broad attributes: verbal ability, practical problem solving, and social competence o Defining children's intelligence is especially challenging because behaviours reflecting intelligence change with age • Table 8.1 lists students responses to five traits of intelligence 6 month olds, 2 year olds, and 10 year olds children should portray Table 8.1 – Five Traits Most Often Mentioned by Students Characterizing Intelligence at Different Ages 6 Months Old 2 Years Old 10 Years old Adults 1. Recognition of People and Objects 1. Verbal Ability 1. Verbal Ability 1. Reasoning 2.Motor 2. Learning Ability 2. Verbal Coordination 2,3,4. Learning Ability; Ability 3. Alertness 3. Awareness of people Problem Solving; 3. Problem and Environment Reasoning Ability Solving 4. Awareness of Three Way Tie) 4.Learning Environment 4. Motor Coordination Ability 5. Verbalization 5. Curiosity 5. Creativity 5. Creativity • With age, Sensorimotor responsiveness becomes less important, while verbal ability, problem solving, and reasoning become more important Alfred Binet: A Holistic View • The first successful intelligence test was conducted by Alfred Binet a French psychologist and his colleague Theodore Simon; Binet believed that test items should tap complex mental activities in intelligent behaviour; memory and reasoning • French ministry asked Binet to devise an objective method for assigning students to special classes – based on mental ability, not classroom disruptiveness • Binet and Simon devised a test of general ability that included a variety of verbal and non-verbal items, each requiring thought and judgment • Their test was also the first to associate items of increasing difficulty with chronological age; this enabled Binet to estimate how much a child was behind or ahead of his/her age-mates in intellectual development • Stanford university adapted Binet’s test and since then, the English version has been known as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale The Factor Analysts: A Multifaceted View • To find out whether intelligence is a single trait or an assortment of abilities, researchers used a complication correlational procedure calling Factor Analysis PS275: Developmental Psychology 2 • Factor Analysis: which identifies sets of test items that cluster together, meaning that test-takers who do well on one item in a cluster tend to do well on others o Distinct clusters are called factors o Example: vocabulary, verbal comprehension, and verbal analogy are all highly correlated therefore can cluster together under one factor: “Verbal Ability” • Using factor analysis, many researchers tried to identify the mental abilities that contribute to successful intelligence test performance Early Factor Analysis • Charles Spearman was the first influential factor analyst; he found that all test items he examined correlated with one another; he proposed that a common underlying ‘general intelligence’ (called ‘g’) influenced each of them • He also noticed that the test items were not perfectly correlated, they varied in the extent to which ‘g’ contributed to them; suggested that each item, or a set of similar items, also measured a specific intelligence unique to the task • Spearman downplayed the significance of specific intelligence, regarding ‘g’ as central and supreme; because test items that involved forming relationships and applying general principles clustered together strongly he inferred that ‘g’ represents abstract reason capacity • Louis Thurstone (American psychologist) questioned the importance of ‘g’; his factor analysis of college students indicated that separate, unrelated factors exist, he called them primary mental abilities Contemporary Extensions • Spearman and Thurstone eventually resolved their differences, now current theorists combine both approaches; they propose a hierarchal model of mental abilities • At the highest level is ‘g’, assumed to be present to some degree in all separate factors • These factors are measured by subtests (groups of related items) of which their scores provide information about a child’s strengths and weaknesses in particular areas • Contemporary theorists have extended factor-analytic research, two most influential are R.B Catell and John Carroll • Raymond B. Catell; believes that in addition to ‘g’ intelligence consist of two broad factors: Crystallized and Fluid Intelligence • Crystallized Intelligence: refers to skills that depend on accumulated knowledge and experience, good judgement, and mastery of social customs – abilities acquired because they are valued by individual’s cultures. o Examples: vocabulary, general information, and arithmetic problems PS275: Developmental Psychology 3 • Fluid Intelligence: depends more on basic information-processing skills – the ability to detect relationships among stimuli, the speed with which the individual can analyze information, and the capacity of working memory o Assumed to be influenced by conditions in the brain and less by culture • Among children with similar cultural and educational backgrounds, these two types of intelligence are highly correlated and difficult to distinguish in factor analysis • But in children from differing cultural and educational backgrounds the two abilities show little relation, children with same fluid capacity may perform quite differently on crystallized tasks vs. fluid tasks • John Carrol reanalyzed relationships among items in hundreds of studies; findings yielded a Three-Stratus Theory of Intelligence: elaborates the models proposed by Spearman, Thurstone, and Cattell Carroll’s Hierarchal Model of Intelligence High Relation to ‘g’  Low Relation to ‘g’ 1. ‘g’ ‘g’—General Intelligence 2. Broad Fluid Intelligence, Crystallized Intelligence, General Memory and Learning, Factors Visual Perception, Auditory Perception, Retrieval Ability, Cognitive Speediness, Processing Speed 3. Sequential Reasoning, Vocabulary Knowledge, Memory Span, Spatial Specific Relations, General Sound Discrimination, Creativity, Numerical Facility, Factors Reaction Time • “g’ presides at the top, related to all aspects in one way or another • In the second tier are an array of BROAD ABILITIES, considered the basic biological components of intelligence (they are arranged from left to right in terms of decreasing relationship with ‘g’) • In the third tier are NARROW ABILITIES, specific behaviours through which people display the second tier’s factors • This model is the most comprehensive factor-analytical classification of mental abilities to date; it provides a useful framework for researchers seeking to understand mental-test performance in cognitive-processing terms Recent Advances in Defining Intelligence Combing Psychometric and Information-Processing Approaches • To overcome the limitations of factor analysis, investigators combine both approaches; they conduct Componential Analysis of children’s test scores, looking for relationships between aspects (or components) of information processing intelligence test performance • Individuals whose central nervous system function more efficiently, permitting them to take in and manipulate information quickly, appear to have an edge in intellectual skills • Strong ERP’s (EEG brain waves in response to stimulation) predict both speedy cognitive processing and higher mental test scores PS275: Developmental Psychology 4 • The metabolic rate of the cerebral cortex during complex tasks is lower for high- scoring individuals, suggesting they require less mental energy for intricate thinking • Children who apply strategies effectively acquire more knowledge and can retrieve it rapidly—advantages that carry over to test performance • Inhibition—keeping irrelevant information from intruding on the task at hand; inhibition and sustained and selective attention are among a wide array of attention based skills that are good predictors of IQ • But the componential approach has a major shortcoming: it regards intelligence as entirely due to causes within the child • However, it is clear, how cultural and situational factors also affect children's thinking/development Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory • Triarchic Theory of Successful Intelligence- is made up of three broad interacting intelligences o 1. Analytical Intelligence, 2. Creative Intelligence, 3. Practical Intelligence • 1. Analytical Intelligence: consist of information processing components that underlie all intelligent acts: applying strategies, acquiring task-relevant and meta- cognitive knowledge, and engaging in self-regulation • 2. Creative Intelligence: depends not only on processing familiar information but also on generating useful solutions to new problems; people who are creative think more skilfully than others when faced with novelty o Although all of us are capable of some creativity, only few individuals EXCEL at generating novel solutions • 3. Practical Intelligence: practical, goal-oriented activity aimed at one or more of the following purposes: adapting to, shaping, or selecting environments o Intelligent people skilfully adapt their thinking to fit with both their desires and the demands of their everyday lives o When they cannot adapt to a situation, they try to shape or change situations to meet their needs o If they cannot shape them, they select new contexts that better match their skills, values or goals • Practical intelligence reminds us that intelligent behaviour is never culture-free; some children do well at the behaviours required for success on intelligence tests, others may not do so well on intelligence tests, yet still display sophisticated abilities in daily life • To examine the validity of this theory, Stenberg gathers thousands of children in Finland, Spain, Russia and the U.S.A to test items that tap analytical, creative, and practical skills o Factor analysis repeatedly indicated that the three intelligences are relatively distinct PS275: Developmental Psychology 5 • The triarchic theory emphasizes the complexity of intelligent behaviour and the limitations of current intelligence tests in assessing complexity o out of school, practical forms of intelligence are vital for life success and help explain why cultures vary in the behaviours they regard as intelligent Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences • Howard Gardner • Theory of Multiple Intelligence: defines intelligence in terms of distinct sets of processing operations that permit individuals to solve problems, create products, and discover new knowledge in a wide range of culturally valued activities o Gardner proposes at least 8 independent intelligences • Gardner believes that each intelligence has a unique biological basis, a distinct course of development, and different ‘end state’ performances (job possibilities in the future) • He emphasizes that a lengthy process of education is required to transform any raw potential into a mature social role; cultural values and learning opportunities affect the extent to which a child’s strengths are realized and the way they are expressed • If tests were available to assess all these abilities they should show little relationship to one another; research indicating that damage to a certain part of the adult brain influences only one ability, while sparing others, suggests that the affected ability is independent and proving this theory right • The existence of people with unusual profiles of intelligence also fits with Gardner’s belief in distinct abilities; children with autism occasionally show this patter, though severely impaired in language and communication, few individuals with autism have remarkable abilities • Gardner accepts the existence of innately specified domains of though, present at birth or emerging early in life, as children respond to the demands of their culture, they transform those intelligences to fit the activities they are called on to perform • Critics of their theory, question the independence of intelligences; point out that the unusual skills of people with savant syndrome are mechanical and inflexible because those skills are not aided by other abilities, excellence in most fields requires a combination of intelligences • Some exceptionally gifted individuals have abilities that are broad rather than limited to a particular domain; current mental tests do tap into several of Gardner’s intelligences; and evidence for ‘g’ suggests that they have common features, Gardner calls attention to several abilities not measured by intelligence tests From Research to Practice: Emotional Development • Emotional Intelligence: is a set of emotional abilities that enable individuals to process and adapt to emotional information PS275: Developmental Psychology 6 • To measure it, researchers have devised items tapping emotional skills that enable people to manage their own emotions and interact competently with others • Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that is overlooked but can greatly improve life skills, however it is only modestly related to IW • It is positively associated with self-esteem, empathy, pro-social behaviour, cooperation, leadership skills, and life satisfaction and negatively related to dependency, depression, and aggressive behaviour • Only a few assessments of emotional intelligence are available, these require careful thinking and training of teachers in observing and recording children’s emotional skills during everyday activities, gathering information from parents, and taking into account children’s ethnic backgrounds • Some researchers worry that emotional ability scores will lead psychologists and educators to make simplistic comparisons, overlooking the fact that the adaptiveness of children's emotional and social behaviour often varies across situations • Lessons that teach emotional understand, respect and caring for others; strategies for regulating emotion and resistance to unfavourable peer pressure Measuring Intelligence • The group-administered tests given from time to time in classrooms permit large numbers of students to be tested at once and are useful for instructional planning and for indentifying students who require more extensive evaluation with individually administered tests • Individually administered tests demand considerable training and experience to administer well; the examiner not only consider the child’s answers but also carefully observes the child’s behaviour, noting reactions such as attention to, and interest in the tasks and wariness of the adult; these observations provide insights into whether the test results accurately reflect the child’s abilities Some Commonly Used Intelligence Tests • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales: for individuals from age 2 to adulthood; latest edition measured general intelligence and 5 intellectual factors: 1. Fluid reasoning 2. Quantitative reasoning 3. Knowledge 4. Visual-spatial processing 5. Working memory • Each factor includes both verbal and non-verbal mode of testing, yielding 10 subsets in all • The quantitative reasoning and knowledge factors emphasize intelligence, such as vocabulary, and arithmetic problems; in contrast the fluid reasoning, visual spatial PS275: Developmental Psychology 7 processing, and working-memory factors, which tap into fluid intelligence, are assumed to be less culturally biased • The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales for Early Childhood, includes fewer items and is tailored for assessing children between 2 years of age and 7 years 3 months of age th • The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children –IV: is the 4 edition of a widely used test for 6-through-16 year olds o Includes 4 broad intellectual factors: verbal reasoning, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed o Each factor is made up of two or three subtests, yielding 10 separate scores in all • A downward extension of the WISC-IV is the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence –III is used for children 2 years 6 months to 7 years 3 months • These tests offer both a measure of intelligence and a variety of factor scores long before the Stanford-Binet • The WISC-IV was designed to downplay crystallized, culture-dependent, intelligence, which is emphasized on only one factor (verbal reasoning) the remaining three factors focus on fluid, information-processing skills • These tests were the first to use samples representing the total population of the U.S, including ethnic minorities, to devise standards for interpreting test scores Aptitude and Achievement Tests • Aptitude Tests: assess an individual’s potential to learn a specialized activity o Example: Musical aptitude is the capacity to acquire musical skills, scholastic aptitude is the capacity to master school tasks • Achievement Tests: aim to assess not potential to learn but actual knowledge and skill attainment • When school district accesses 4 -grade reading comprehension or a university professor gives a final exam, an achievement test has been used • The differences among intelligence, aptitude, and achievement tests are not clear- cut; certain items on each are similar • As this overlap suggests most tests tap both aptitude and achievement, though in different balances Test for Infants • Measuring infants intelligence is a challenge because babies cannot answer questions or follow directions, all you can do is present them with stimuli, coax them to respond, and observe their behaviour • Most infant measures emphasize perceptual and motor responses, new tests are being developed that tap early language, cognition, and social behaviour PS275: Developmental Psychology 8 • The Baylay Scales of Infant and Toddler Development: is suitable for children between 1 month and 3 ½ years of age • It has 3 main subtests: o 1. The Cognitive Scale: includes items as attention to familiar/unfamiliar objects o 2. The Language Scale: taps understanding and expression of language, recognition of objects and people o 3. The Motor Scale: assesses fine and gross motor skills; grasping, sitting, stacking blocks, and climbing stairs • Two additional subtests of this test involves parental report: o 4. The Social-Emotional Scale: asks caregivers about such behaviours as ease of calming social responsiveness, and imitation in play o 5. The Adaptive Behaviour Scale: asks caregivers about adaptation to the demands of daily life, including communication, self-control, following rules, and getting along with others • Infant tests are poor predictors of mental ability in childhood, they easily become distracted, fatigued, or bored during testing, so their scores do not reflect their true abilities • Because most infant scores do not tap the same dimensions of intelligence assessed in older children, they are conservatively labelled Developmental Quotients (DQs) rather than IQs • Today these tests are largely used for screening – helping to identify for further observations and intervention infants who are at risk for future developmental problems Computation and Distribution of IQ Scores • Intelligence tests for infants, children, and adults are scores in the same way – by computing all IQs: which indicates the extent to which the raw score deviates from the typical performance of same-age individuals • To make this comparison test designers engage in standardization- giving the test to a large, representative sample of individuals, which serve as the standard for interpreting scores • Within the standardization sample, scores at each age level form a normal distribution: in which most scores cluster around the mean, with progressively fewer falling toward each extreme • A bell-shaped distribution results whenever researchers measure individual differences in large samples; when intelligence tests are standardized, the mean IQ is set at 100 • An individual’s IQ is higher or lower than 100, reflecting how much his/her test performance deviates from the standardization (sample mean) • Because we know the percentage of test performance of people who fall within each unit of the normal curve, we can figure out exactly what an IQ score means PS275: Developmental Psychology 9 What Do Intelligence Tests Predict, and How well? Stability of IQ Scores • Stability refers to how effectively IQ at one age predicts itself at the next; researchers rely on longitudinal studies in which the same children are tested repeatedly Correlational Stability • One way of examining the stability of IQ is to correlate scores obtained at different ages, this tells us whether children who score low or high in comparison to their age-mates at one age continue to do so later o The older to child at time of first testing, the better the prediction of later IQ o The closer in time two testing’s are, the stronger the relationship between the scores • One reason is that with age, test items focus less on concrete knowledge and more on complex reasoning and problem solving, which require different skills • Another explanation is that during periods of rapid development, children frequently change places in a distribution; one child may spurt ahead, a second child, progressing slowly and steadily, may eventually overtake the first • IQ may become more stable after schooling is under way because daily classroom activities and test items become increasingly similar Stability of Absolute Scores • Stability can also be viewed in absolute terms – by examining each child’s profile of IQ scores over repeated testing’s • Longitudinal studies reveal that the majority of children show substantial IQ fluctuations during childhood and adolescence • Examining personality traits and life experiences associated with these profiles reveals that gainers tended to be more independent and competitive about doing well in school • Their parents were more likely to use warm, rational discipline and encourage them to succeed • When children who live in poverty, many show mental test score declines • Environmental Cumulative Deficit Hypothesis: the negative effects of underprivileged rearing conditions increase the longer children remain in them, early cognitive deficits lead to more deficits, which become harder to overcome • Many studies show that children from economically disadvantaged families fall further and further behind their age-mates in both IQ and achievement, and children who suffer from more stressed experience greater declines • Many children show substantial changes in the absolute value of IQ, as a combined result of personal characteristics, child-rearing practices, and living conditions. IQ as a Predictor of Academic Achievement PS275: Developmental Psychology 10 • Students with higher IQs also get better grades and stay in school longer, beginning at age 7, IQ is moderately correlated with adult educational attainment • Some researchers believe both IQ and achievement depend on the same abstract reasoning processes that underlie ‘g’; IQ correlates best with achievement in the more abstract school subjects, such as English, math, and science, • Other researchers disagree, arguing that both IQ and achievement tests draw on the same pool of culturally specific information; believe that an intelligence test is partly an achievement test, and child’s past experiences affect performance on both measures • Support for this view comes from evidence that crystallized intelligence is a better predictor of academic achievement than is its fluid counterpart • As you can imagine researchers who believe that heredity contributes strongly to individual differences in IQ prefer the first of these explanation; those who favour the power of environment prefer the second IQ as a Predictor of Occupational Attainment • Research indicates that childhood IQ predicts adult occupational attainment just about as well as it correlated with academic achievement • The relationship between IQ and occupational attainment is far from perfect, factors related to family background, such as parental encouragement, modelling of career success, and connections in the world of work, also predict occupational choice and attainment • One reason IQ is associated with occupational status is that IQ-like tests affect access to higher education; educational attainment is a stronger predictor than IQ of occupational success and income • Another factor in occupation achievement is personality, researchers found that, after childhood IQ and parents educational and occupational attainment were controlled, such traits as childhood emotional stability, conscientiousness, and sociability positively predicted career success o Whereas, belligerence and negative emotionality forecast unfavourable career outcomes • One a person enters an occupation, Practical Intelligence: mental abilities apparent in the real world but not in testing situations, predicts on-the-job performance sometimes better than IQ • Test items are formulated by others, they are often detached from real life; and have only one solution, practical problems
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